Three Types of Teeth Fillings: Know Your Options Before You See Your Dentist

If you have ever had to have a cavity filled (and who has not?), you are probably very familiar with the silver-colored amalgam. However, you probably are not aware that there are other teeth fillings which can be used in place of this traditional amalgam. In fact, you can request any of the following fillings for your cavities, and if your dentist has it on hand, he or she can use that instead of the traditional amalgam.

Copper in Place of Silver Amalgam 

Some people have allergies to various metals. If you discover that you are allergic to silver, then a copper amalgam may be used to fill your teeth instead.  The reason behind offering you copper in place of silver has everything to do with allergies and what your insurance will or will not cover. While allergies to silver are rather rare, and since there are other options besides a metal amalgam, most dentists may offer patients the alternative fillings instead.


Porcelain has long been used to create crowns for teeth. It is now also used to create a tooth-colored amalgam that is as strong as it is unnoticeable. Many people who have had a lot of restorative work on their teeth prefer this tooth filling, since it hides the numerous cavities they had filled and does not make their teeth look black. It is also much safer for children (as well as adults) since it does not contain mercury, a common component in the previously mentioned amalgams.

Pure Gold

It is almost impossible for humans to respond to gold with an allergic reaction. This is the biggest reason why many earrings are made from gold-- wearers do not suffer the pain, burning and itching associated with other metals. In the mouth, there is less chance of swelling and irritation in the surrounding oral tissues when gold is used to fill a cavity.

Additionally, some people really love the idea of gold in their teeth as it makes them seem rich or "gangsta." Gold also used to be the standard for crowning teeth, until modern amalgams became available and gold teeth less popular because robbers would pull them right out of your mouth. However, there is less of a chance of robbers taking your gold cavity fillings since it would be rather obvious to anyone what the extracted bits of gold were and just where the gold came from.

To learn more about the right tooth filling option for you, talk to a dentist like those at New Image Dental.